Angry Mob by Robert Couse-Baker

By request: Facebook treats rape page as “pub joke’

Warning for rape descriptions quoted in this post and found at links.

Jane Osmond asked for a signal boost in the open thread, and thus I’m popping the Facebook treats rape page as “pub joke’ media release up:

Facebook treats rape page as “pub joke’

Over 3000 people have signed a UK petition asking Facebook to delete a page that contains “joke’ posts about rape against women.

The page – “You know she’s playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway’ (sic) – contains posts such as “I have raped many women….no lie’ and “I rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome’.

The petition was launched on Aug 19 by student Orlagh Ni Léid after Facebook issued a statement likening the page to a pub joke, despite thousands of people protesting against it through the Facebook report mechanism:

“It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining – just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.” (Facebook statement 17.8.11)

Orlagh commented:

“I stumbled across this page and was shocked to see not only rape “jokes’, but outright advocacy and even apparent confessions.

I started the petition when I found out that Facebook refused to take the page down and the UK mainstream press proved unresponsive to a letter from Rape Crisis England and Wales.

To date, thanks to articles on sites like “Women’s Views on News‘, the petition has drawn strong support from around the globe and is building on a US petition against similar pages that has attracted over 170,000 signatures.

Facebook is an influential social force and in a world where 1 in 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape, these pages are more than a “pub joke. Surely Facebook should not be perpetuating rape culture?”

Further, Facebook appears selective about how it applies its rules – for instance, a policy against breastfeeding pictures is upheld, indicating that breasts are offensive, but that rape is not.

In doing so, Facebook have made it clear that it does not consider groups which condone rape to be in violation of their own hate speech rules such as “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.’ (Section 3, Point 7)

The petition can be signed here.

See also Bidisha in the Guardian, The rape shame of social media: Despite their capacity for good, Facebook and Twitter still provide outlets for the worst kind of misogyny.

7 thoughts on “By request: Facebook treats rape page as “pub joke’

  1. Jane Osmond

    Thank you very much. If we can return the favour – i.e. if you wanted to write a news piece for Women’s views on news, let us know.
    Best
    Jane

  2. Iroshi Windwalker

    “It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining – just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.” (Facebook statement 17.8.11)

    And if someone makes a rape joke -on their wall- or in a comment to a friend, that would be the equivalent of a tasteless pub joke. Making a page for the entire topic, however, is akin to naming the pub itself “RapistsRUs”. I think the Chamber of Commerce would take offense to that business name…and Facebook should remove the page.

  3. RMC14

    I didn’t know about this issue until I read this blog and honestly, I can’t believe that Facebook would be okay with this. I understand that Facebook is a social networking website where people can post basically anything they want, but this is a whole new level. If breastfeeding is considered offensive, rape should be considered detestable. Now, I believe in freedom of speech, but this is straight invasive. Think about all the people who have been raped, the people who have been scarred for life, who may come across this page and see people joking about something of this magnitude. The fact that people are confessing of raping women on this page is what bothers me the most, and the best part…they probably won’t even get in trouble.

  4. Jenna

    I think its absolutely repulsive that someone could find the rape comments on that facebook page to be entertaining. I think it is extremely gross and tasteless and disrepectful to women. That being said, Facebook does have the “report” option as well as the “like” option. If people can report pictures and get Facebook to delete them, why can these kind of comments be reported and not be taken down?

    A previous post wrote “The fact that people are confessing of raping women on this page is what bothers me the most, and the best part…they probably won’t even get in trouble.”
    And this is what bothered me the most and what I was thinking of as well when I was reading that. Because Facebook is so huge and people pretty much say whatever they want, those people can post such horrid things and get away with it. I think rape is not taken as seriously of an issue as it truly should be. People need to realize what they are posting before they post it and who is going to see their posts. I believe in freedom of speech as well, but on an open page that is to the public page that anyone could happen to come across is really sad. I cannot believe that Facebook is leaving this page active. Facebook is too successful of a social media to leave something so stupid up that could cause so much anger towards the network.

  5. Isaac

    What other thing can be more offensive and crucial to those who are suffering from rape. Those jokings about rape on facebook are dangerous and sharp knives that would cause deadly psychological wound(trauma) to all victims of rape. This issue should not be considered as a exercising right of freedom of speech, but must be considered as straight invasion to all human beings basic right–right to be respected.
    “it is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining – just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”

  6. Rien

    I’m kind of surprised no one is looking for confessions (especially if they’re using their names.) It wouldn’t be hard for the police to make a fake account and do a little research. This is starting to sound like a SVU episode…

    I’m not saying this page is a good thing by any means- but if some idiot is seriously posting rape confessions- well fuck, use it.

Comments are closed.